While I believe that regulation and reform are required to protect us from fraud and abuse of large corporations, it seems that hard work, money and influence can slowly dismantle any regulations designed to prevent corporate bad behavior. According to the LA Times, the power of the Volcker rule has slowly been diluted by the efforts of large financial institutions determined to keep the options to profit wide open…despite the risks to the rest of us.
Although, I think we have quite a bit of law in place now that would protect the American (world) public. The law regarding fraud has both criminal and civil consequences, we just need prosecutors willing to prosecute and punish those that break the law.
No senior banking executive has been prosecuted for activities contributing to the crash. We don’t need any new laws if we aren’t going to prosecute those that break the laws we have. If we start putting white collar malfeasors in prison, along with those that aide or hide knowledge of crimes, the problem will likely clear up pretty quickly. Too big to fail along with too powerful to prosecute is a terrible combination…and I’m certain we’ll see lots more bad behavior until we insist that the law is enforced.
For an executive to take chances with other people’s money for the opportunity to become personally wealthy takes marginal judgement, but very little courage. On the other hand, risking a 20 year prison sentence takes a special kind of person.